Friday, April 10, 2009

Royal Champions, Royal Rooters ... Who Knew

I like the Red Sox, but didn't know a thing about the team's historic Royal Rooters, a scattershot collection of brewski and baseball buffs that traced their origins to 1897, until Ted Kennedy threw out the first pitch on opening day at Fenway Park the other day.

It turns out that Kennedy's grandfather, John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, the mayor of Boston, threw out the very first pitch at Fenway Park in 1912. The Kennedy grandad was a member of the Royal Rooters.

Today, the Royal Rooters of Red Sox Nation even have a blog.

So, it seems that Royal Caribbean's Royal Champions, which made for unflattering headlines about user-generated content a few weeks ago, weren't the first "Royal" rooting section.

No word, though, on whether the Boston Red Sox in the early 1900s encouraged the Royal Rooters to post puffy reviews on


Anonymous said...

thanks ben satchel :)

Dennis Schaal said...

Anytime, anonymous. Happy to carry the load:)

Kevin May said...

Mysterious post. Explain?

Stuart Falk said...

For those who may not be familiar with Cruise Critic's facilitation of RCCL's "Royal Champions", here's some background.

From Jaunted (Conde Nast):

Royal Caribbean Cruises Has Web 2.0 Viral Infection

No surprise here: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has a viral infection. For once, however, it's not the Norovirus but that new-fangled byproduct of Web 2.0, the viral marketing infiltration. According to Consumerist, a group of fifty "Royal Champions" was outed by their own creator, the Customer Insight Group, as being a successful project whereby frequent positive cruise commenting on sites such as CruiseCritic was rewarded with free cruises and other perks.
So what's the big deal? Well, it seems that the "Royal Champions" weren't always up front about their status as compensated reviewers, effectively misleading readers of CruiseCritic forums with their positive comments. Add to this the fact that CruiseCritic admins assisted Royal Caribbean in choosing the fifty, with one of the stipulations being quantity of posts, "with many having over 10,000 message board posts on various Royal Caribbean topics." From here, the hole just gets deeper.
Now that many RC fans feel slighted at not having made the ranks and most everyone else is disgusted at the covert trade of cruising for happy juicing, the trustworthiness of such forums is under fire.
Due to CruiseCritic's ownership by TripAdvisor, which is in turn under the Expedia blanket of travel sites, a viral marketing stunt gone awry could possibly continue to negatively ripple. Does news like this affect your ability to trust good reviews on travel sites, or do you already consider yourself an excellent shill-spotter enough to weed out the solicited from the unsolicited? While this whole ordeal is mired in serious muckety-muck, let's hope it serves as a lesson for future viral marketers and as an argument for transparency.

Dennis Schaal said...

Kevin: No big mystery here. I was just having a little fun with the "Royal" names at the cruise line's expense. And I agree with Stuart that the Royal Champions incident is an "argument for transparency."